Stretch marks, also known as stria in dermatology, are a common problem for both men and women of all ages.
Typically, stretch marks appear as a band of parallel lines on your skin.
The lines have a different texture and color than your normal skin.
Stretch marks are commonly seen on the hips, buttocks, arms, breasts, lower back, thighs and waist.
Although they are not physically painful, stretch marks can negatively impact on person’s self-esteem and confidence.
There are many natural products that can help you lighten or reduce stretch marks, if not make them disappear completely.
To help you choose the best home remedies for stretch marks, it is imperative you first understand the causes, symptoms, types and formation of stretch marks.
How are stretch marks formed?
The skin is made up of three layers:
Hypodermic (deepest layer)
Dermis (middle layer)
Epidermis (outer layer)
The skin has a remarkable ability to contrast and expand when necessary.
Although the skin is strong and elastic, its connective tissues can be damaged if they are stretched too quickly or too far.
The rapid expansion of the skin makes some collagen fibers in the middle layer of the skin to break.
This makes the underlying blood vessels to show through leaving behind purple or telltale red marks.
What are the major causes of stretch marks?
Stretch mark is not a disease.
They are just scars that form on the epidermis due to the expansion and contraction of the skin.
Their appearance depends on the type of the skin and their cause.
Some of the most common of these ugly marks include:
- Hormonal changes during puberty
- Excessive weight gain or weight loss
- Muscle building
- Genetic disorders
- Use of certain pills, creams and lotions
- The physical stretching of the skin during pregnancy
What are the signs of stretch marks?
Stretch marks normally form on places where large amounts of fat are deposited.
Some common signs of stretch marks include:
- Formation of purple, pink or red lines on the skin
- Affected areas become soften
- Skin becomes thin, flattened and pink before the occurrence of stretch marks
- The marks appear as a patches of parallel lines
- The marks appear as scars
The Two Main Classification of Stretch Marks
1. White Stretch Marks
They are also called Striae Alba in dermatology.
White stretch marks appear silverfish or whitish in color and are the most stubborn.
They look like tiny tears on the skin.
They develop when blood vessels reduce in size, making the fats under the skin visible.
White stretch marks take the longest time to treat.
2. Red Stretch Marks
Red Stretch marks are also called Striae Rubra.
They appear purplish or reddish in color.
Red Stretch marks develop when the middle layer of the skin is stretched allowing the underlying blood vessels.
These stretch marks are usually easy to treat because they are new.
The 7 Best Home Remedies For Stretch Marks
1. Stretch Mark Removal Creams
One of the best natural remedies for stretch marks is stretch mark removal creams.
Creams do not remove stretch marks completely.
However, they reduce their appearance so much that they are barely visible.
Stretch mark removal creams contain a lightening agent in the ingredients that helps to lighten the appearance of stretch marks.
The best stretch mark lotions contain some healing agents, such as hyaluronic acid that helps to heal the ugly marks from the inside out.
Other important ingredients contain in the best stretch mark lotions include hydrating and moisturizing agents, such as Vitamin A and E as well as cocoa butter or shea.
2. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is another effective home remedy for stretch marks.
It is highly preferred due to its anti-aging and anti-wrinkling properties.
Cocoa butter helps to increase blood circulation to the skin, which then lightens stretch marks.
The best time to use cocoa butter is at night.
Massage it well into the affected area and after a given period of time you find that the stretch marks will start to fade away.
Repeat the process for two months consecutively and notice the reduced scars.
You can make a good stretch mark removal cream from cocoa butter at home by following the steps below:
I. Make a mixture of:
- 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
- 1 teaspoon of apricot kernel
- 2 spoons of grated beeswax
- 1 teaspoon of wheat germ oil
- 1/2 cup of cocoa butter
II. Heat the mixture
III. Put the hot mixture in a container and store it in a cool place
IV. Apply it to the affected areas int the morning and at night to hydrate the skin
Since cocoa butter is edible, it is 100 percent safe to use on the skin surface.
It has a pleasant smell which makes is pleasant for most people.
One the main benefits of cocoa butter is that it can work on all types of stretch marks, not just those obtained during pregnancy.
Derma rollers offer a simple and cost effective way to treat stretch marks.
The derma roller is a type of collagen induction therapy that was used in the ancient times to help people maintain a young glowing skin.
A derma roller consists of a tiny, solid wheel connected to a small supporting stick that allows it to move back and forth on the skin for the treatment of stretch marks.
The derma roller has minute medically sterilized needles that enter the skin to create small holes or punctures.
This enhances the creation of new collage and increases the absorption of active ingredients in cosmetics.
Research shows that 75 to 85 percent of active ingredients found in cosmetics can penetrate through the epidermis to the dermis after a derma roller treatment.
In most cases, the 1.0mm needles are used to treat stretch marks on the back, stomach and thighs.
The 5.0mm needles, on the other hand, are used to treat stretch marks on the chest and arms.
With the right products, a derma roller treatment can speed up the removal of stretch marks.
For the fastest and best results when using a derma roller to get rid of stretch marks, use a serum that promotes cell turnover and collagen synthesis, such as Vitamin C serum or the EGF serum. Though a derma roller treatment is known to cause some pain, the results are positive.
However, you have to take the treatment for a few weeks or sessions to get complete results.
Essential oils are other effective natural remedies for stretch marks.
Each essential oil has regenerative properties that hydrate the skin, improve flexibility and slows down aging.
Since essential oils are usually highly concentrated, it is important that you mix them with a carrier cream or oil before application.
Some examples of carrier oils include primrose, jojoba, apricot and almond.
Here are some of the 5 best stretch mark essential oils you can use.
Lemon oil is an essential part of most stretch mark removal remedies.
It prevents damage caused by free radicals in the skin as well as death of cells the produce keratin and collagen, the building blocks of the skin.
Lemon essential oil also increases the absorption of active ingredients contained in cosmetics.
Lavender essential oil is famous due to its excellent wound healing capabilities.
Research shows that lavender oil enhances the production of collagen and helps in the formation of granulation tissue, a tissue that form over broken skin during wound healing.
This makes it the best essential oil for dealing with the newly developed (purpled and red colored) stretch marks and prevents new ones from developing.
This essential oil is made from the kernels of the Argan tree.
It helps to enhance skin elasticity and also improves the appearance of stretch marks.
Research shows that consuming and applying Argan oil makes the skin more elastic and lightens the appearance of stretch marks.
Gotu Kola essential oil is commonly used to treat skin ailments.
Recent studies indicate that the compounds in this essential oil can help to enhance collagen production as well as improve the tensile strength of the skin.
This significantly helps in the reduction of stretch marks and prevents future ones form forming.
Rosehip oil is extracted from the fruits of the rose plant while rose oil is extracted from the petals of roses.
These two essential oils stimulate the production of keratinocytes. Keratinocytes secret keratin,
a structural protein that makes up the epidermis and since stretch marks appear on the outer layer, keratin is essential.
Rose and Rosehip essential oils also treat stretch marks by strengthening the weak skin.
They can also be used as a moisturizer, which greatly helps to improve the severity of stretch marks in pregnancy women.
Below are the currently best selling oils of each category on the market:
Aloe Vera is a common house plant that has been used to treat skin and hair problems for decades.
The plant secrets an ultra-moisturizing sap that keeps the skin hydrated and which has a remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.
Due to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties aloe Vera can prevent stretch marks from occurring and treats the ugly marks on the skin.
The application of the ultra-moisturizing sap may help to restore damaged skin fibers, support repair and healing processes of the skin.
The vital vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fatty acids fasten the healing of stretch marks.
The plant collagen in Aloe Vera also helps to improve the elasticity of the skin.
The application of Aloe Vera in the initial stages makes stretch marks to fade away.
If you have the red or purplish stretch marks just for a while, the applicationof aloe Vera will help fade them away faster than you can imagine.
Note that there are many way you can use aloe Vera for stretch marks.
The best methods include:
•Aloe Vera gels
•Aloe Vera with vitamin E capsules
•Aloe Vera with avocado mask, Aloe Vera and coconut oil
•Aloe Vera with cocoa butte,
•Aloe Vera with Honey Mask
You can make your own Aloe Vera Gel at home by following the three steps below:
Step 1: Get a fresh Aloe Vera Sap
Step 2: Squeeze out the sap into a bottle
Step 3: Add essential oils such as rose oil, almond oil, and sunflower. Blend all the ingredients well.
Step 4: Apply the mixture on the area affected by stretch marks or skin areas where stretch marks are likely to appear. Apply at least two times a day, in the morning and at night.
Emu oil is harvested from flightless bird commonly found in Australia.
Emu oil is natural trans-dermal oil, meaning it can easily penetrate deep into the skin.
The oil can effectively reduce the appearance of stretch marks and other skin damages. It is also a powerful moisturizer.
It helps to replenish moisture to dry, damaged skin tissues allowing the skin to be more pliable and supple.
This helps to repair the already damaged skin cells and connective tissues, and as result, reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The oil is also a good source of essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to be vital for skin health.
Emu oil is also an inflammatory agent.
Inflammation causes redness, itching and discomfort which are common complaints of people suffering from stretch marks.
For the best and fastest results, apply Emu oil on the affected areas and massage gently until the oil is absorbed.
Be sure to repeat this processes three to five times a day. To prevent stretch marks from occurring, use Emu oil together with other skin care products daily.
7. Anti-Stretch Mark Vitamins
Take foods rich in Vitamins E, C, K and A has proven to enhance the healing process of the skin,
thereby increasing the odds of reducing or totally avoiding the appearance of stretch marks.
Vitamin A is vital for those looking to fade stretch marks.
When applied correctly, it promotes the growth of new skin cells, strengthens the skin and adds elasticity.
Vitamin A is found in fish liver oils, animal liver, vegetables and fruits.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It helps in the restoration of damaged skin tissues.
Vitamin E promotes the growth of new skin cells and increases the elasticity and firmness of the skin.
If you are looking for an in effective way on how to reduce stretch marks, then you need to eat foods rich in vitamin k.
Vitamin K helps to lessen skin discoloration.
It protects the skin from stretch marks and helps to improve how they appear.
There are just some of the most effective natural remedies for stretch marks.
Make sure you choose the remedy that will work for you and one that you will easily stick with.